Allison Grant at the Plain Dealer reported last week that Eaton Corp. is trying to get Hinds Circuit Judge Jeff Weill recused from the Eaton v. Frisby case. It seems that Eaton feels that Judge Weill calling a spade a spade is unfair to Eaton:
Eaton is gambling that a new judge would give the company a better shot in litigation that has become messy and expensive for the Fortune 200 company.
"Eaton and its counsel have labored at every turn not only to comply with the orders of the court, but to aggressively seek out and turn over any document that might possibly be responsive," Eaton said in a motion in late October.
The company said Weill’s conclusion that it continued trying to hide misdeeds by its lawyers by withholding key records was made without affording Eaton the most basic legal right — a chance to rebut the claims.
Legal commentators view the move as, er…risky:
Andrew Pollis, a Case Western Reserve University law professor, described Eaton’s bid for a different judge as bold and risky.
"If you’re going to shoot the king, you better hope that you don’t miss," said Pollis, who is a co-teacher of the university’s Civil Litigation Clinic.
Attempting to recuse a judge "is a very, very serious request to make and always a mistake to make it unless you have a substantial probability of success," Pollis said.
Well professor, Eaton didn’t get into this mess playing it safe. So I guess we shouldn’t be surprised by a risky move.
If this sounds familiar, it’s because it is. Eaton already tried to get Judge Weill knocked out of the case one time. And lost.
So who does Eaton want? Judge Green? Negative. Judge Kidd? Nope. Judge Gowan? Nyet.
Eaton wants a judge from another county. I don’t see the Supreme Court ruling that Judge Weill should be recused from the case. I’d put the odds at less than 10%.
But it would be funny if the Court replaced Judge Weill with a judge that Eaton would be guaranteed to like less. And there are some that fit that category out there.